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Job interviews – Put your best foot forward

Making a good impression during a job interview is one of the most important steps towards getting the job you deserve. So take some time to prepare yourself well. Being well prepared will also help you to feel confident during an interview.
How to prepare

  • Make sure you know exactly where the interview will take place and at what time.
  • Find out how long it will take to get there and make sure you have transport that will get you there on time.
  • Find out as much as you can about the company and the division where you will be working.
  • Make sure you know what is involved in the job you’re applying for.
  • Be ready to answer questions about what you have written in your curriculum vitae (CV) including your qualifications, skills and experience.
  • Prepare some questions you would like to ask about the job.
  • Decide what clothes you want to wear a day or two ahead of the interview and make sure it is neat and clean. Look professional without being too fancy. Don’t wear clothes that are too tight, too small or uncomfortable.
  • Take an extra copy of your CV.

Things not to do

  • Never be late for an interview.
  • Don’t smoke, eat, drink or chew gum.
  • Never lie about your abilities.
  • Don’t talk about your personal or money problems.

Possible questions

You can never be sure which questions will be asked, but you can prepare answers to the ones that often come up in interviews. They include:

  • Why do you think you are the right person for the job?
  • What contribution can you make to the company/organisation?
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • What are your strong points?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • How will you deal with difficult co-workers or situations?
  • Where do you want to be five years from now?
  • What salary are you seeking?

Making a good impression

It is normal to be nervous when you go for an interview, but try to relax, take a deep breath and believe in yourself. You have only one chance to make a good impression, so remember the following:

  • Arrive on time, or better still, about 10 minutes early.
  • Look confident, smile and give a firm handshake.
  • Sit up straight, make eye contact and speak clearly.
  • Look interested, alert and keen at all times.
  • Answer all questions as honestly and as well as you can, but don’t say more than is necessary.
  • Talk about your strong points, but don’t boast.
  • If you don’t understand a question, ask for an explanation.
  • Make sure your cell phone is switched off.

Remember, if you don’t get the job, you are not a failure. Never give up, try your best – you will eventually succeed.

-Louise van Niekerk